Denis Shapovalov positive for virus after Australian Open arrival

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·Sports Reporter
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Denis Shapovalov has tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open in January. (Photo by Anatoliy Medved/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Denis Shapovalov has tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open in January. (Photo by Anatoliy Medved/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Canadian tennis player Denis Shapovalov has tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open next month.

The 22-year-old announced his diagnosis on Twitter on Sunday, saying he was experiencing mild symptoms but is likely to recover by the time the grand slam begins on January 17.

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One of the first overseas players to arrive in Australia ahead of the Australian Open, Shapovalov was set to take part in the ATP Cup in Sydney as part of Canada's entry.

Shapovalov, who has previously been ranked as high as 10th in the world, had competed at the World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week.

He defeated Rafael Nadal in the third round of that tournament, with Nadal later going on to test positive for the virus himself.

Several players who competed in Abu Dhabi have since tested positive for Covid-19, including Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

Quarantine requirements for overseas arrivals have been adjusted in line with improving vaccination rates at home and abroad, with travellers required to provided a negative test from within 72 hours of their departure time before being allowed to board.

Travellers must then return a negative PCR test before they are permitted to leave quarantine.

Taking to Twitter, Shapovalov said he was in good spirits despite feeling some negative symptoms.

"Hi everyone, just wanted to update you that upon my arrival in Sydney, I tested positive for COVID," Shapovalov tweeted.

"I am following all protocols including isolation and letting the people who I've been in contact with know.

"Right now I am experiencing minor symptoms and look forward to getting back on the court when it safe to do so."

Shapvalov, Novak Djokovic unlikely to compete in Sydney's ATP Cup

Meanwhile, Serbian daily Blic is reporting that world No.1 Novak Djokovic will not travel to Sydney for ATP Cup.

Djokovic was named in Serbia's team for the ATP Cup, although the 34-year-old has yet to commit to the Australian Open following the COVID-19 vaccination mandate agreed by Tennis Australia and the Victorian Department of Health.

Djokovic has declined to disclose whether he is vaccinated, citing privacy concerns.

Serbia have been drawn in Group A - along with Norway, Chile and Spain.

Canada are in Group C with Germany, Britain and the United States.

The Blic report quoted an anonymous member of Djokovic's team confirming he wouldn't play in Sydney.

Novak Djokovic has reportedly opted against playing in the ATP Cup in Sydney in the weeks prior to the Australian Open in January next year. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic has reportedly opted against playing in the ATP Cup in Sydney in the weeks prior to the Australian Open in January next year. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

“It is 99 per cent sure that Novak won’t go to the ATP Cup. He is training here (in Belgrade) but he has decided to give that tournament a miss," the source said.

Just before Christmas, Australian Open organiser Craig Tiley reiterated that he was still unsure whether Djokovic would compete at the Australian Open.

The vaccine requirements have prevented Djokovic from confirming whether he will bid for a men's record 21st grand slam title and a 10th Australian Open crown.

“The great thing is that everyone [coming to Australia] is vaccinated,” said Tiley.

“Everyone who is coming in is vaccinated and there will be a small percentage – a very small percentage – that will have a medical exemption.

“So if any player, fan [or] workforce is on site here – you’re either vaccinated or you have a medical exemption that’s approved and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register.

“That provides us with safety and an extra level of comfort on site.”

With AAP

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